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what do you use to image computers in your Org

Posted on 2016-08-08
  • IT Administration
  • Networking
  • Windows OS
  • Server Software
  • Microsoft Enterprise
  • +1
13
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Last Modified: 2016-10-27
what do you use to image computers in your Org? trying to find a better solution than WDS or MDT
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Question by:NxJNY
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13 Comments
 
LVL 93

Accepted Solution

by:
John Hurst earned 251 total points
ID: 41747211
Symantec Ghost. We keep images on large USB Hard Drives that we file. You can use Network Storage as well
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LVL 22

Assisted Solution

by:Joseph Moody
Joseph Moody earned 83 total points
ID: 41747222
SCCM - but if you don't like WDS/MDT, you won't like it. :)

What issues are you having with MDT?
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Author Comment

by:NxJNY
ID: 41747232
i was using MDT until my company started deploying Lenovo X1 Carbons - because the NIC is not built into the mother board i had issues PXE boot also had issues with drivers also

i got WDS to work but having issues with the X1 Carbons 4th Generation also, works great with the 3rd generation. see errors below

ErrorMessage: Windows installation cannot continue because a required driver could not be installed.

The PXE server processed a request from a client of architecture x86.  However there were no boot images installed for this architecture.  PXE clients of this architecture will not be able to complete the boot process successfully.  To resolve this problem, add at least one boot image for this architecture.
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LVL 35

Assisted Solution

by:Kimputer
Kimputer earned 83 total points
ID: 41747233
If there's budget, I'd go for Acronis (the first on the market to support universal restore/bare metal recovery, first to be able to make images while windows is running. has been excellent ever since). You could even do it all from remote from a central console.
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LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:Joseph Moody
ID: 41747237
For your MDT issue - you just need to add the NIC driver to the boot image. http://www.vkernel.ro/blog/adding-drivers-to-winpe-boot-image-in-mdt-20102012

After that - update the deployment share.
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LVL 2

Author Comment

by:NxJNY
ID: 41747243
yeah - i tried all that, after a solution to one issue anther arises also after every X1 Carbon generation i keep running into issues. i do wonder if Lenovo is using different hardware when building to save money or are they generalizing on the hardware
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LVL 2

Author Comment

by:NxJNY
ID: 41747248
also i want to start incorporating my mac images also which WDS/MDT does not
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LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 41747263
Look at Ghost and Acronis for MAC
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LVL 17

Assisted Solution

by:Mike T
Mike T earned 83 total points
ID: 41748722
Hi,

You could use Acronis but the snag is it still uses WinPE so you still have to sort the drivers out I'm guessing.

I know your pain - I had every single model Dell had out at my last job, and yes they changed chipset half-way though a production cycle despite promising not to. We also started with a few Lenovos too but the cheaper ones and they were easy to manage except for the BIOS. Then someone flipped the buy Dell switch making the work redundant.

Anyway....imaging is old hat and too inflexible these days and has limited use-case. If Lenovo are changing that often you are going to end up with a library full of images for each iteration.
I would only image if a) the deploy time was critical b) you have two or three pieces of hardware that are never going to change and have no software changes either.

If you are serious you want to avoid MDT (and it's giant brother SCCM) then check out "Gizmo's disk imaging list". He covers all the main current drive imaging software products nicely. It is then down to you to try them out.

The answer also depends on how big your company is? If you're small then you'll be wanting something free. Ghost and Acronis are pricey as you go up, as they charge you per use, not even per machine (I think).

Personally, I'd stick with MDT as better the devil you know.

Mike
1
 
LVL 2

Author Comment

by:NxJNY
ID: 41752095
Thanks
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LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:Kimputer
ID: 41752220
Some misconceptions:
Acronis was always Linux based for the boot cd/usb, and always included server drivers for the big servers' RAID controllers (HP, Dell etc) as well as the NIC's
In Windows, for creating the images (can be done from a central control panel), drivers are of course not an issue (as you're already in Windows).
Also Acronis is simple licensing, just per server/agent etc. Not per usage.
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:Mike T
ID: 41752411
I stand corrected on Acronis. I'm thinking of Ghost I think and its revamp by Symantec.
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:vivigatt
ID: 41752544
iPXE, sometimes in conjunction with some other tools, can do a lot in the remote-boot/imaging space

http://ipxe.org

Free and opensource
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